I haven't had a chance to use the item for a few reasons; all relevant to the product:
1) I ripped a rotator cuff in the accident that motivated me to get two claws;
2) I had to wait a month to get a spare bottom from Garmont (who now owns lif-link). Garmont service has been good, for a small company; and
3) inherently these are used for self-arrest, which you would like not to do.
An important point to realize: Typical life-link poles have one female bottom section, which receives a bolt, and one male section, topped by a bolt. These must, respectively, mate with male and female locking mechanisms inside the upper section of the pole. The claw handles are made only in the female variery; so if you want to have two claw poles -- as many BC skiers do -- you have to have two male bottoms. The normal process of heating up the handle in hot water -- do you can pull it off and change the gender of the locking mechanisms -- doesn't work with the massive plastic of the claw.
Otherwise, the locking mechanism seems very good, in the ovalized upper section of the poles. Unlike a whippet, the idea is that you can fall on the claws without changing your grip. I'll try that on hard snow soon.